Peace is a Haiku Song

About The Project


Josh Sarantitis & Parris Stancell

Completion Date

15 December 2012


1425 Christian Street

Photo by Steve Weinik

Mural Arts is once again honored to work with one of the nation’s cultural treasures: poet, activist, and educator Sonia Sanchez. Our latest project—Peace is a Haiku Song—engages the Philadelphia community and beyond in an exploration of the haiku as a vehicle for peace and urban transformation.

This exciting project culminated in a mural honoring Sanchez as a celebrated practitioner and teacher of the haiku. The mural is inspired by Sanchez’s belief that the haiku form is inherently non-violent in its intent and structure and engenders beauty, serenity, and brief reflection.

The project began at the First Person Arts Festival on Sunday, November 13 at Christ Church, when Sanchez kicked off a city-wide collaborative poem made of individual haiku and conducted a mini-workshop.

Winter and spring workshops based on the haiku form and its intersection with other disciplines (such as painting, photography, and music) engaged our art education students, reflecting on their personal visions of peace.

Residents, visitors, and citizens from around the world had an opportunity to contribute haiku to the project. Selected haiku will be featured in mini-murals in unexpected locations around Philadelphia and serve as places to stop and reflect on the city. The final mural honors Sanchez and reflects as many of the individual haiku as possible.

Selected Media

Washington Post: A Q&A with poet laureate Sonia Sanchez
Philadelphia Style: Behind the Mind of the City's First Poet Laureate
Newsworks: Philly's poet laureate Sonia Sanchez finds peace in the 'haiku life'
CBS Philly: Expressing Peace in Art and Poetry Peace Is A Poet Laureate: Sonia Sanchez HelmsPhilly's Poetry Scene
Neighborhood Writing Alliance: Poetry and Peace Sonia Sanchez's Thoughts on a New Revolution
The Amazing Kids From Room 200: Haiku Inspired by Sonia Sanchez 

Curriculum Guide

Peace is a Haiku Song 101